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Just Before Midnight, a Cell Check—and 6 Men Missing

Authorities on the hunt for 6 inmates who broke out of California jail
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2021 8:44 AM CST
Just Before Midnight, a Cell Check—and 6 Men Missing
Clockwise, from top left: Jorge Barron, Gabriel Francis Cornado, Manuel Allen Leon, Edgar Eduardo Ventura, Fabian Cruz Roman, and Andres Nunez Rodriguez Jr.   (Merced County Sheriff's Office, via CNN)

(Newser) – Cell check just before midnight Saturday at a California jail yielded an alarming find: six men missing, and now on the run. ABC News reports the inmates, all between the ages of 19 and 22, made their break over the weekend from the Merced County Downtown Jail by getting up onto the roof, then using "a homemade rope to scale down the side of the jail," per a release from the Merced County Sheriff's Office. The fugitives have been identified as Jorge Barron, Gabriel Francis Cornado, Manuel Allen Leon, Edgar Eduardo Ventura, Fabian Cruz Roman, and Andres Nunez Rodriguez Jr.

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The escapees—with convictions against them on charges ranging from firearm possession and assault to attempted murder and murder—are considered armed and dangerous and shouldn't be approached if spotted, per the sheriff's office, which advises people to call 911 instead. Meanwhile, a task force has been formed to find the men, and the sheriff's office says it will keep the public posted on any updates. (Read more prison escape stories.)

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